By: Anudeep Parhar, Chief Information Officer at Entrust
Organisations around the world are re-evaluating their long-term hybrid work models – reacting to the fast-changing pandemic as well as long-term changes driven by digital transformation. As work goes more hybrid, with workforces working both inside facilities and remotely, businesses are challenged to address new risks to data security.
Entrust recently conducted a global study that revealed insights into how employers and employees view security in the hybrid workplace. The survey found that 64% of leaders and 54% of employees said their company is already using a hybrid workplace model. Likewise, 16% of employers and 21% of employees are currently fully remote but considering a switch to a hybrid model. But what are some of the challenges faced by leaders when securing these hybrid workplaces?
The security challenges leaders and employees are facing
89% of leaders and 87% of employees said they feel confident that their data is secure while working from home, but both groups remain concerned. Leaders cited security of home internet connections, leaked sensitive company information and cyberattacks from bad actors as their top security concerns, and 70% reported that their companies have already implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA), while 55% have implemented virtual private networks (VPN) as a first step to improve the security of data when remote working.
Yet, companies must find a way to secure data as employees work remotely, in the office, or often in both workplaces. Throughout the pandemic, employers were having issues with bad actors exploiting insecure home tech hardware, poor password hygiene and employee use of unapproved tools. Phishing and malware distribution were cited as some of the main cybersecurity threats during the pandemic, and newly deployed remote networks were strongly targeted. These threats will only continue if data security is neglected.
Security measures needed by leaders to improve and secure the onboarding process
Leaders are addressing the demands of their employees to implement a hybrid workplace, with 68% of leaders saying they are considering hiring talent that resides in geographically diverse locations. Leaders are being forced to leverage a range of new tactics throughout the onboarding of newly hired employees to improve and secure the process while working remotely. Leaders can implement the first secure step before the onboarding process begins through digital identity proofing to help the organisation confirm the identity of newly hired employees.
Securing the new hybrid workplace
Fortunately, there is a range of solutions on the market to help defend organisations against cyber-attacks. Organisations are able to integrate certain tactics to help improve their cybersecurity when transitioning to the hybrid workforce:
- Passwordless with single sign-on
A strong solution uses PKI credentials and biometric authentication to ensure an employee logging in is in fact an employee logging in. a high-assurance passwordless solution effectively blocks 80% of today’s cyberattacks.
- Adaptive risk-based authentication
Ensures only authorised employees access company networks by leveraging adaptive risk-based authentication. This technology uses biometrics, geolocation, and device reputation to grant, block, or challenge access to the user.
- Digital identity proofing
Through a cloud-based identity proofing system, you can automate the onboarding of new employees to enable access to your company’s network, apps and websites. accelerating this process can make the overall employee onboarding process 8x more efficient with a modernized identity proofing solution.
- Self-service password reset
By empowering employees to reset passwords on their own, they can securely solve the problem without any involvement from an IT team. Leveraging this solution can also help reduce costs, as password resets often account for 20 to 50% of IT help desk calls.
Those companies investing in protection are seeing a vast improvement in their cybersecurity for employees working in remote or hybrid conditions that will make them feel safe and secure. Additionally, companies are seeing an overall improvement to the onboarding process of their employees in hybrid working conditions.